Preparing for parenthood with ‘approachable’ support

Becoming a parent is considered to be one of life’s greatest joys – as well as one of the most difficult challenges. Parenting is tough to prepare for and can very quickly become overwhelming, leaving parents depressed and desperately needing help and support.

That is where Approachable Parenting can help, by offering parents a safe environment, where they receive support and learn practical ways to overcome the daily challenges they face around parenting.

What is Approachable Parenting?

Approachable Parenting CIC is a registered non-for-profit company that provides parenting courses and coaching mainly to BAME families. The parenting courses aim to offer extensive and insightful knowledge in many different aspects of parenting, through latest psychological and faith principles.

The organisation was developed to meet the needs of Muslim families who needed help to address problems relating to today’s parenting. They were looking for support from an organisation that understood them – their culture, beliefs and faith. However, we work with parents from all backgrounds, cultures, faiths (and no faith).

Where we work

Approachable Parenting is based in Birmingham, however our trainers deliver courses across Birmingham, London, Manchester and Bradford.

Our services

We provide a safe environment where parents can explore problems and learn practical techniques they can incorporate into their daily lives. Our work has a direct influence in developing the characteristics of the family, hence having a positive impact on the family structure. Providing parenting knowledge, strategies and support empowers parents to develop skills and develop a bond with their child right from pregnancy up to 18 years.

We run our parenting programmes according to age of child, starting from Pregnancy and Beyond. This programme focuses on educating parents on the skills required to promote brain development, attachment, attunement and enabling a baby to reach its milestones.

Pregnancy to 3 years is another programme we deliver and has a duration of eight weeks. It is a reinforcement of the 4-week Pregnancy and Beyond course, additionally covering topics such as managing stress, adjustment to parenthood and learning the stages of development.

The 4 to 11 Years programme teaches parents effective listening and communication techniques along with the key to developing a better parent-child relationship. This course also aims to help parents understand themselves in order to visualise what type of parent they want to be.

The final parenting programme is developed with the Protective Behaviours Consortium and focuses on teens. The course helps parents with reducing behavioural problems, improving communication and keeping safe. The preservation and protection of physical, mental and emotional well-being is also emphasised along with providing practical advice on how to deal with common issues teenagers face.

Comments by parents who have responded positively to our parenting courses demonstrate the impact the courses have had:

“Honest open space to discuss parenting and difficulties”

“I managed to have ‘me’ time whilst my baby was asleep”

All our parenting courses are evidence-based. A recent study on our Pregnancy and Beyond and Pregnancy to 3 Years courses have statistically been proven to be very beneficial for parents. The ‘Patient Health Questionnaire’, ‘Generalised Anxiety Disorder’ and ‘Relationship Quality Index’ were conducted and all the results displayed a significant difference after carrying out a T-test and Wilcoxon test.

Becoming  a ‘Sparkler’

Our Sparkler course allows parents who have completed a parenting course to become a befriender and mentor to other parents. Becoming a Sparkler requires six weeks of training that focuses on relationship building, counselling and mentoring skills, questioning techniques, listening effectively and how to coach parents.

Community workshops

Approachable Parenting also offers workshops that are open to the community. These workshops cover a range of topics from mental health, first aid, sports and healthy eating. We invite guest speakers to come and share their knowledge on such topics in order to spread awareness and reliable information to the people of the local community.

Looking to the future

Approachable Parenting aims to expand in the future by increasing the number of parenting programmes delivered. We aim to:

  • Develop projects that will help support teenagers to become effective leaders and sparklers.
  • Continually support our existing sparklers to enhance their qualifications
  • Develop courses online and in different languages so that we can help more families in different communities all across the UK.
  • Deliver courses internationally to meet the needs of families that do not have access to this kind of support in their own countries.

Approachable Parenting’s mission as an organisation is to provide support to the families that need it most. Therefore, we will continue to strive towards helping many more parents and families in the future.

By Ebrahim Kasu